Metro group sees potential in eyesore

A chain stretches across the entrance to the Jackson Southwest Hotel. The phone is disconnected, and the weeds are growing tall.

Rain and wind blow into open rooms in the back, and empty beer bottles are strewn about the back parking lot.

The 288-room hotel on U.S. 80 near Ellis Avenue was vacated in April. Now, the Metro Area Coalition is trying to save the former lodging mainstay.
“It’s another example of prime property along U.S. 80 and Interstate 20 going to waste,” said Nina Holbrook, the coalition’s executive director.

The brick hotel’s five-story tower is perched on a hill overlooking both highways. Its decline has been years in the making, several business executives said. Like the abandoned La Quinta Inn before it, the hotel has become a symbol of the problems facing the struggling corridor.

Clarion Ledger
7/25/5